When you’re ready to promote your company or a new product, “branding” is important. However, are you really familiar with what branding is and what it means? While “branding” has become a buzz word thrown around regularly, many companies don’t understand what it’s all about or how to use it to improve their success.
A brand is far more than just a slogan or a logo. While a logo and slogan can both be important, companies need to build a solid foundation to ensure success over time.
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that advertising and marketing is the same thing as branding. While these concepts often work as a team, the end goals are very different.
What is Marketing?
Advertising and marketing is short term and tactical. It’s all about creating a message to grab the interest of consumers. A good marketing team uses advertising campaigns to promote the company or product to targeted audiences, providing communication from the company to the customer. Marketing focuses on promoting the best parts of a company to a target market, and it focuses on making a sale.
What is Branding?
Branding is a long-term, strategic method used to keep the customers brought in through marketing efforts. Branding focuses on building associations between brands and memories within the minds of customers. It’s all about creating value and trust, which is important because consistency, quality and a good reputation is what turns buyers into loyal, repeat customers. Branding involves the entire customer experience – the experience a customer has from the first contact with the company, to the packaging details of a product, to the way employees interact with customers.
A brand may also include the use of graphical elements used to represent a company. A standard theme is created to be used throughout all marketing materials and products to establish familiarity with customers. A strong name, unique colors, a logo, unique imagery, and symbols are all essential components that should be used when creating a brand. However, creating a good brand identity requires more than just creating something that is aesthetically pleasing. It also needs to communicate value to your customers.
The Objectives of Branding
When establishing a brand, the goal isn’t to get customers to choose you over the competition. The goal is to make sure that potential clients see your company as the only company that can meet their needs and solve their problem.
A few of the important objectives of branding include:
- Clearly delivering the message of the company in a way that customers can understand
- Establishing and confirming the credibility of the company
- Connecting with customers emotionally
- Generating brand loyalty
- Motivating buyers
- Establishing a perception of value and quality
- Linking together your company’s products and services
The Advantages of Branding
Developing a good brand for your company will offer numerous advantages, including:
Advantage #1 – Recognition and Loyalty – Companies that effectively use branding techniques enjoy the advantages of recognition and loyalty. A strong brand is more likely to be recognized and remembered by customers. Companies benefit from customer loyalty since a strong brand makes customers more likely to trust your company when they want to purchase other products or services.
Advantage #2 – Linked Products and Services – When you build a strong brand for your company, it makes it easier to link your company’s products and services. This increases the likelihood that customers will purchase other products or services your company has to offer.
Advantage #3 – An Image of Quality and Value – Branding offers the advantage of creating an image of quality and value. Most consumers believe that a branded product or service offers higher quality.
Of course, these are only a few of the advantages a company can enjoy when creating a strong brand. Creating a strong brand can also convey an image of expertise, experience, size and reliability to potential and current customers.
To run a successful business, marketing and branding must be combined. However, remember to create individual goals for each area. While marketing campaigns can come and go, your brand’s value will be what keeps customers coming back to your company again and again.